Chinese Multimedia

Lesson 14

Video and text
Listening and speaking
Grammar exercises


Question: Your roommate's friend has come to look for him. Tell him that your roommate has gone to the shop.

Hint 1 Hint 1   Use the aspectual particle 了
Hint 2 Hint 2   The aspectual particle 了 can be placed at the end of a sentence that has a simple object
Comments Answer  他 去 商 店 了。 Listen
Comments Comments  Alternatively: 他 去了商 店
 tā qùle shāngdiàn. If the object of a sentence is a simple one, and does not have any other attached elements, (such as number words, measure words and descriptive clauses), the aspectual particle 了 le can be placed at the end. However, the 了 le at the end of the sentence has two implications: completion of the action, and change of situation. Therefore the meaning of the sentence can be ambiguous if it stands on its own, out of context. This usage of 了 le is often seen in conversation: 他 去 哪 儿 了 tā qù năr le where did he go? The answer will be in the same pattern as that of the question: 他 去 商 店 了 tā qù shāngdiàn le he went to the shop. The above alternative answer sounds incomplete. A listener might expect you to say more, as in the following sentence: 他 去 了 商 店 就 去 吃 饭 tā qùle shāngdiàn jiù qù chī fàn after going to the shop he will have his meal.
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